It’s a moment you may have missed in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer: in-between Batman slamming Superman against a wall somehow and one of several large explosions in the three-minute trailer, there are a few frames of that “Nightmare Batman” fighting soldiers wearing the Superman S on their sleeve.
If, like me, your mind wrote that scene off as just being another part of that dream, that’s understandable; but when you take a moment and look at it again, especially slowed down, it becomes very clear: those are parademons flying through the background.
Parademons are the foot soldiers of the space tyrant Darkseid – think of them as the orcs in Lord of the Rings, a marginally intelligent, fiercely loyal to their overlord troop that’s bred only for war. Seeing them in this trailer, then, is a big deal for a few reasons.
Parademons have shown up in many forms in the pages of DC Comics and in animated and video game adaptations since they were first created by Jack Kirby in 1971. The wasp-like flying parademons were featured prominently in Justice League: War, the animated film that launched a new continuity for DC Animation, based primarily on the New 52 relaunch of DC Comics. It’s been heavily rumored and speculated that those DC animated movies are being used as a breeding ground of sorts for the new live-action films, so it’s not too surprising to see them share a look.
In the scene shown from Batman v Superman, their appearance isn’t the only notable factor. What we’ve speculated so far is that the clip released Monday and the scene here is a dream – but what if it’s not a dream so much as a vision of the future? Darkseid, the godly despot, is rumored to be the primary villain for the two-part Justice League film, and given his status as the big bad that assembled them in the New 52 relaunch comics and animated film, he’s also the obvious choice. If we’re seeing a possible future here, where Darkseid’s invasion was successful and he’s somehow taken over Superman, that could have major implications for that film. After all – the soldiers aren’t fighting the parademons, they’re fighting Batman, who seems like the lesser of the threats in that situation.
Whose vision could it be, then? Something Lex Luthor sees through some technological advance? That could lead to him wanting to get rid of Superman ahead of time, so he can’t be used as a weapon. Something Wonder Woman sees through a mystical oracle of Greek myth? That could be why she shows up, ready to save the day.
Either way, this is clearly saying one thing to fans: Darkseid is coming. They wouldn’t do a massive, high-cost special effects scene like this in their big universe-expanding/launching movie just as an easter egg – it’s more of an omen.